- Reign in executive powers
- Re-establish legislative authority
The Founding Fathers intended for Congress to be the most powerful branch of the United States government. After all, a legislative body, representative of the will of the people, was at the core of democracy, and an excessively powerful President would be too close to a monarch. The Founding Fathers feared a monarchy, so they limited the powers of the President as much as possible.
The President's powers were very straightforward:
- to faithfully execute the nation's laws, as determined by Congress.
- to form treaties and appoint officers and ambassadors with the advice and consent of the Senate.
- to pardon federal crimes.
- to command the military.
Since around World War II, however, the United States has been in a near-constant state of conflict, and the President has accumulated more and more power in order to be in a better position to deal with the various threats facing the nation. The President picks and chooses which laws to enforce and how to interpret those laws. He also has a lot of influence over how the federal budget is allocated, the ability to enter into extended armed conflicts without consent from Congress, and effectively the ability to self-legislate due to excessively broad discretionary powers and the powers of executive orders.
When a liberal President is in office, conservatives complain about executive overreach, and when a conservative President is in office, liberals complain about executive overreach. Meanwhile, Congress is losing its power both to represent the American people effectively and to act as a check on the executive branch. It's time for Congress to reign in the powers of the President and to once again resume responsibility for the country.
I will fight to restore the power of Congress, regardless of whether we have a conservative or a liberal President. This is something we need to do in order to preserve our democracy.